by Clemens Bomsdorf
Contributed and translated into English by Markus Zacharski
The Swede, everlasting rival of Boris Becker and exemplary sportsman, quit his impressive tennis career already at the age of 30.
You quit your career as tennis professional in 1996. How do you spend your time nowadays?
I'm working. Mainly from home. To my house a forestry belongs I have to care about. The trees are cut down and sold to timber and paper industry, all that has to be organized. In our area many people have a forest, most of them more than my 40 hectare. In spring there was the most intense storm for about 100 years and it destroyed a lot of mine and the other forest owners. You are rarely seen in the media. Do you actually miss the hype?
No, I like it that way, also because of the children. The two go to school in the morning and see me in the afternoon. Because of them we moved from London back to Växjö 5 years ago. Here they grow up in the nature, there are not so much noise and exhaust gases like in London. Furthermore, my wife and I are in the deepest heart of Sweden, this is what we want to pass to our children.
When the children come from school, do they first go to the tennis court behind the house in order to practice volley and backhand with Dad?
We don't have an own tennis court. When they play, they play in the local club. Even better when they don't play so much tennis, otherwise they compare with their father. But they should do sports, of course. In doing so they learn companionship and to stand to rules - either is good for life.
During your career you won more than 20 million dollars prize money. What do you do with all the money?
With the help of an asset manager I began early to invest in shares and I found it very interesting. Today he and I own a capital investment company. We have a fund on offer which especially aims on athletes who want to prevent for the time after their career as professional. It is important to work with something that is fun to you, food on the table, friends, there is not much more you need. Furthermore, some years ago I founded the Stefan Edberg foundation that awards scholarships to Swedish trainees. It is a good feeling to be able to give back something.
Against no other than Boris Becker you played so many matches - 35.
I lost more than half of them. Without Boris I would have grown another way - and probably he without me.
Do you still have contact to him or other players from then?
Since we don't play against each other anymore the friendship between Boris and me even has become bigger. The contact is much more relaxed. I'm also glad when I see one of the other players from then at tournaments. But I don't appear very often at those events.
You were always considered as "the honest". You neither railed during a match nor after it, you didn't womanize and there were no other scandals. Typically Swedish?
As a public person you should first reflect once or twice before you do something. To say nothing is better than too much.
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